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Offbeat : Video

Walking on Delhi roads is not just "walking". It also has adventure written all over it. And, one thing is for sure it is not for the faint hearted.





We at Bring Home Stories recently launched 'The Crossover' a short film about the  entity that is Delhi's Streets! You might find it strange describing it as an entity, but as a traveller from the UK my first experience of the streets certainly felt like it was a living breathing thing.  There are so many parts of the experience that were alien to me coming from the land of 'street furniture' , more controlled crossings than is seemingly possible and the British attitude of quietly simmering rage when any form of travel is undertaken!  I lived in London for years and boy that gets busy but it comes with raised tempers and can be quite an engulfing experience!

I was recently asked by a friend locally how I could possibly cope with Indian roads  and the answer, for me at least, was simple - organised chaos!  Yes people might be travelling 3 cars, 2 rickshaws, a bus and a sacred cow wide on a three lane road but they all have somewhere to go and someone to see so there is a certain level of control and I generally feel quite safe.   Crossing the 8 lane dual carriageway to the Metro in Noida is one of the joys - timing your journey across is like taking your life in your hands and feels quite epic - well at least it did the first few times.  Now I just happily cross, something I wouldn't do in any of the UK's cities! 

In some ways I'd much rather be walking on the streets than in a car.   There is nothing quite like being driven around Delhi, especially by my friend, Samir,  who seems to believe that the brake is a bit of an inconvenience!  Its not all excitement though, getting stuck in the traffic jams at rush hour - pretty much any hour with light can be frustrating and very noisy with horns blowing from every direction. On the plus side it gives you a chance to people watch and take in the sights, from the old buildings, to the hidden temples and more.  

Returning to Delhi before 'truck' time is fun too, all the trucks that keep the city alive and working aren't allowed inside the city limits before 9pm. If you're travelling back at dusk from a few days away all you see is lines of beautifully decorated trucks waiting to move!  After 9, its every man for himself as they begin their journey in, creating a different kind of traffic jam!

I love the fact that the streets are full of interest, not just the people going from A to B but those people who make their life literally on the streets.  Everywhere you go someone is selling or doing something, the streets are merely an extension of Delhi's many bustling markets, whatever you need, you will find it or someone will be able to tell you where it is!

I've been focussing a lot on the busy streets, like those featured in 'The Crossing' but one of the nicest parts of the streets is taking a turn off a main street and finding a sanctuary to sit, drink some chai or just wander around.  For every mad street, there is one that is the polar opposite!  The intrigue of never quite knowing what you will find can't be beaten! It's become part of the challenge, what can be found today that wasn't on the to do list!

PAUL, Bring Home Stories

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